Whilst walking home the other day, I let my mind do its normal post-school-and-work wandering. Sometimes that means feverish repetitions of song lyrics, to avoid actually thinking about anything else, or self-induced guilt trips about tasks I didn’t have the time or energy to finish. But on the occasional day, when I have felt productive and successful, or when the air is particularly sweet, I get into the mindful state that I am always craving.
On this particular day, night was falling as I walked home, and the wind was soft in the trees; woodsmoke and fall leaves were in my nose, and my heart began to well with thankfulness for this life that I live.
2013 has been, on the whole, a not-so-good year. Yet every time I think of all the depressing things that have happened this year, I feel compelled to think of all the things that have kept me going. It may not be Thanksgiving yet, but today, as you will soon see, seems a good day to reflect on all of these.
I am thankful for my friends and family. I am so lucky to have this amazing group of people around me, lending me their affections, attentions, and, most importantly, their company. To all of you, I drink to your health and happiness.
I am thankful for healthy, happy kitties who make sure I am never alone. They may love me for my thumbs, but I love them for their purrs and their furs.
The campus mall, looking at Fogler library.
I am thankful for this school, and the fact that I have the opportunity in life to better myself and interact with some of the best minds in Maine. Although I have worked my butt off (that’s right guys, I have no butt), I know that my success has been due to a lot of people who have put me in the right place, helped me out, and bolstered my confidence over the years. This means the world to me.
I am so lucky to live this life, especially given the massive amount of human suffering in this world. When I think about my difficulties this year, I see that they are all part of the progression of life. I feel truly blessed.
I have left out one very important thing — or person, rather — for whom I am beyond thankful.
Sean is my best friend and favorite companion.
I love him for his goofiness and handsomeness.
You shall not pass.
I love him for his playfulness, our playfulness, and the fact that we are both serious engineers while at the same time still kids at heart.
Beer and cribbage — one of our favorite pastimes.
I love him for his unwavering support and willingness to listen to my dreams, my hopes, my crafty babbling, my useless rants.
Eating at the Family Dog, our favorite burger joint.
I love that he eats whatever I make and says that he loves it, even if it’s a disaster (like those ribs I made that one time…).
I love that he believes me pretty, always, and compliments me when I make an effort to look nice, always.
I love that one of the reasons he fell in love with me in the first place is that the first meal we shared was a pizza at Pat’s, and I ate my entire half.
Chandler cuddling with his dad (sorry it’s blurry).
I love that he loves kitties as much as I do. I never thought it was possible, but even as I write this he is sitting on the couch with Chandler, who is over the moon with happiness.
I love how much he loves his friends.
I love how passionate he is about his school work and his hobbies. He would never tell you this himself, but he is an outstanding drummer and an amazingly skilled fly-tyer, among other things. He is good at everything he puts his mind to.
I love our shared love of the outdoors, and the fact that he’s willing to join me on the zero waste journey, even though it sometimes involves dashing to the compost bin with a bowl full of vegetable peelings when it’s freezing and pouring rain.
I love that he shares my nerdiness, and knows to pull over when my eyes go all big upon seeing a cool bridge.
I love how much he loves music, even though it means I can’t talk to him if we are in the presence of [good] live music.
I love that he puts up with me and is gracious when I am not. Thanks for “putting it in a jar” for me sometimes, bugs (funny story, that one…).
I love that he loves me, and that I somehow am lucky enough to share my life with him.
Happy 2nd anniversary, Sean. I love you more every day.